MWSL: Youth on display as Co-op Highlanders face Whitecaps FC


by James Nielsen, Highlanders FC Communications

January 31, 2014, VICTORIA (ISN) – The seventh-place Peninsula Co-op Highlanders women will aim for their third win of the season on home soil when the play host to the first-place Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18, 2:00 p.m., February 3 at the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence.

Currently sitting in the bottom half of the Premier Division of the Metro Women’s Soccer League with a 2-5-3 record, the Highlanders will face the MWSL’s top club, a great opportunity to gain experience for several of the younger players.

With a handful of players from their Pacific Coast Soccer League roster that include Liz Hansen, Mariel Solsberg, Jaymie Cawley and Emily Stenerson, the Highlanders MWSL team is comprised of mostly youth players vying for the opportunity to gain experience at the highest level possible in preparation for cracking head coach Dave Dew’s roster during the PCSL season.

“Developing players is our primary goal,” said Dew. “Preparing them for the PCSL as well as moving them into the university level if they are youth. Our primary goal, however, is moving them into our PCSL team.”

The Whitecaps only blemish on their 2013-14 record came from Dew’s Highlanders in the form of a low-scoring 1-1 draw earlier this season, an impressive accomplishment against the first-place squad. Keeping a low score again will be key against the ‘Caps, who have found the back of the net a staggering 49 times while allowing only seven goals against all season.

“We have done well this season considering we are a youth team enhanced with a few senior players,” said Dew. “We tied Surrey who are 10-time provincial champions 2-2, and were the first team to take points away from the Whitecaps in a 1-1 draw.”

The Highlanders and the Whitecaps face off in MWSL action at the Pacific Institue for Sports Excellence, February 3 at 2:00 p.m. Admission to the match is free.